Dangerous lows, snow loom in forecast

Thermometer in snow

Staff Report 

Temperatures were expected to hang in the low-teens and single-digits Wednesday through Friday as the Rockford area braces for more snow over the weekend.

“After the first true cold shot of the year this past week, much of the northern Plains can expect a more formidable shot of arctic air again this upcoming week,” AccuWeather meteorologist Max Vido said on the forecasting website.

Northern Illinois hangs on the boundary of areas expected to see below-zero lows over the coming days ahead of another 1-2 inches of snow on Friday.

More than 2,100 flights were grounded Sunday and Monday as a winter storm dumped up to 10 inches of snow in places around northern Illinois.

The City of Rockford declared a snow emergency as a result of the weekend storm, leaving citizens who didn’t move their vehicles in accordance with the odd-even parking guidelines $50 fines on their windshields.

Residents who didn’t act quickly enough to clear snow from their own driveways and sidewalks were frozen in their tracks by falling temps Sunday night into Monday morning. The sub-zero overnight conditions are expected to remain in the area through Friday.

“This will be a dangerous, early-season cold with [temperatures near] or below zero during the day,” Vido said.

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Thursday or Friday could see the first subzero conditions to hit the area before New Year’s since 2013, and Thursday could mark the first December day across northern Illinois that temperatures fail to climb out of the single digits since 2008.

“The arctic air, together with brisk winds, can lead to dangerously cold wind chill values,” warned the National Weather Service in Chicago. “People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes.”

While the first wave of the cold-air mass sweeps east out of the region on Friday, it will be replaced with further snowfall and the chance for mixed precipitation over the weekend as temperatures climb back near the 30s by Saturday.

Accumulations are not expected to be significant, though forecasters are warning of icy conditions on Saturday with warmer temperatures creeping in. But the bitter cold will sweep back through Sunday, with highs expected in the single-digits.

“The snow, ice and gusty winds anticipated this weekend will likely lead to airline delays and potential cancellations in the major hubs from Denver to Chicago and Detroit,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.

Visit rockrivertimes.com/AccuWeather for up-to-date forecasts and conditions.

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